GeekDad Gadgets: Rover App-Controlled Spy Tank


“Q” in A View to a Kill had a remote control spy tank that could broadcast video and sound back to him. The unit was about as big as a canister vacuum cleaner and needed a van full of equipment to control it. In 1985, when the movie was released, it probably would have cost in the millions to be built and used by the government. I just picked one up at Brookstone for under $150!

That’s right, I have a quiet remote controlled tank that shoots video and sound in real-time, has night vision, and does all this via an app on my iPad. It really is scary what we can get at the store these days. The Rover App-Controlled Spy Tank is a remote-controlled tank that streams live video and sound back to your iPod touch, iPhone or iPad via built-in Wi-Fi. Even in the dark of night, you can use Rover’s night vision to navigate and see in the dark. After downloading the free app, Rover owners can explore up to 200 feet away (or 100 feet around walls and other obstructions). The Rover can be controlled with the accelerometer by touching “G Drive” or via arrows on the app screen. Running on 6 AA batteries, users can stream video and audio, use night vision and take still images, all via the app.

Rover makes a friend

After turning it on and detecting the Rover’s wireless signal with the iPad, we were ready to go. Since you drive the tank via streaming video, it really does control like playing a video game. My 7 year-old was actually better versed at driving it even though I was apprehensive of him using my iPad. I could just see him dropping it in excitement. When it was my turn to play with it, I had a great time tracking and investigating where the cats go when no one is paying attention – night vision helps with this.

Stairs – The natural enemy of the robot tank

As a family, we have had a tremendous amount of fun playing with Rover all over the house. It has also taken a few trips to the office and lets me keep track on what everyone is up to. I highly recommend Rover for any one with an iPod touch, iPhone or iPad already who would like a nice interactive toy to go with it. I would also recommend it to anyone who is a spy or likes to eavesdrop. My only complaints are that it does not have robotic arms or a weapon mount, but these are minor. No, seriously, it is great fun; the only flaw is the hard wi-fi antenna that protrudes from the top. If the antenna were flexible, it would be easier to go under furniture like beds and couches. With the antenna removed, the signal is nearly halved – but still this is a minor inconvenience.

Special Offer!

Brookstone is offering GeekDad readers a special offer on the Rover. Just use the promo code: WIREDROV and get 10% off of Rover App-Controlled Spy Tank SKU# 719302. Offer is valid 10/15/2011 through 11/15/2011. Online only.

Liked it? Take a second to support GeekDad and GeekMom on Patreon!